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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-01-30

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Eurogroup not 'a European institution based on ECJ rulings,' Pavlopoulos says
  • [02] Mouzalas calls for a swift probe into Moria deaths
  • [03] ERT to stop broadcasting Golden Dawn speeches live

  • [01] Eurogroup not 'a European institution based on ECJ rulings,' Pavlopoulos says

    LISBON (ANA/ D. Kourkouli) The Eurogroup is not a European Union institution according to European Court of Justice rulings, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Monday, as he accepted an honorary doctorate from the University of Coimbra in Portugal, one of the oldest universities in Europe.

    Pavlopoulos, who is on an official visit to Portugal, noted that the Eurogroup was an informal forum of Eurozone finance ministers without "institutional significance," even though it took all the decisions for the implementation of bailout programmes and the stiff sanctions to be imposed if their implementation was considered to fall short.

    He had earlier referred to recent ECJ rulings on actions by Cypriot depositors challenging the Cyprus bank "bail-in" and calling for the annulment of a March 2013 decision to seize bank deposits as part of Cyprus' bailout agreement. In September 2016, the ECJ upheld earlier judgements that had dismissed these actions as inadmissible.

    Pavlopoulos said the ECJ's judgements had "significant added value" by extension, regarding the nature of the Memorandum of Understanding between the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Cyprus Republic and the Eurogroup statement, as well as the responsibility of the European Commission and European Central Bank acting on behalf of the ESM.

    As part of its reasoning, Pavlopoulos noted, the ECJ held that the ESM could not be regarded as forming part of the institutions of the European Union, that the Eurogroup statement could not be imputed to the Commission or the ECB, that the statement was not capable of producing legal effects with respect to third parties, and that, as such, it could not be contested in EU courts.

    To dispel any lingering uncertainty on this score, Pavlopoulos added, the ECJ had then referred to the Eurogroup as an informal meeting or discussion forum of ministers in member-states using the euro "and not a decision-making organ!"

    According to Pavlopoulos, given a situation where the Eurogroup was at once informal and simultaneously took some of the most critical decisions taken in the EU, ECJ case law was inevitably led to the conclusion that the Eurogroup had the role of an "éminence grise". This was not entirely the fault of the court, he added, but a result of a "lack of effective rules of economic governance within the Eurozone, which deepen the 'democratic gap' in the EU as a whole."

    [02] Mouzalas calls for a swift probe into Moria deaths

    Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas ordered an investigation into the three deaths of refugees living in Moria center, Lesvos, during an informal press briefing on Monday, adding he was "devasteted".

    "We have to investigate quickly the causes of the deaths in Moria and to proceed with action that will make the situation more manageable," the minister said noting that the incidents are linked to the over-crowdedness facing the camp.

    He also said the ministry will wait for the results of the forensic reports before making further statements.

    [03] ERT to stop broadcasting Golden Dawn speeches live

    Public television channel ERT announced on Monday it will no longer broadcast live the speeches or events of Golden Dawn MPs, while a committee will decide whether to broadcast recorded material.

    The decision comes after the furore caused over the weekend by the broadcast a Golden Dawn event to mark the Imia crisis of 1996.

    "ERT had sent a query to the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV) on whether it is obliged to broadcast Golden Dawn's speeches and events. The NCRTV decided that under Article 15 of the Constitution, ERT is required to observe, on the one hand, the principle of proportional equality, but on the other, not to broadcast racist and xenophobic events, which however are legal concepts which 'have not yet been legaly processed and specialized'," ERT president Dionysis Tsaknis said, responding to the criticism.

    "Therefore, the management of ERT decided that: 1) Golden Dawn speeches will not broadcast live and 2) a committee will decide on whether the recorded material can be broadcast or not," he added.

    On its side, the NCRTV - the TV regulator- has not reacted to ERT's decision and said it will review the material and make recommendations -if deemed necessary – to the public television channel.

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